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Recharge Church Staff During the Slow Summer

John Gilman July 9, 2016

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Summer slows things down in churches. Families take vacation, programs dial down, and staff members prepare for the next season of ministry. Slower summers are perfect times to invest in your church  staff. Too many pastors and ministry leaders burn out because they don’t take time to rest and refocus. I’ve seen pastors, especially missionaries, leave the ministry in the fall and winter because they didn’t take time to refresh themselves in the summer. I remember my friend Brad, a successful missionary in Latin America, left the mission field in the fall after a grueling summer schedule left him and his family in shambles.

Don’t let this happen in your church. Take the time to invest in your church staff this summer with these simple tips:

Take time-off. Give your staff a chance to unplug from ‘church’ and reconnect with their families. Don’t over plan your summer schedules. Someone will have to be on campus at all times, but create a vacation rotation schedule that allows people to be people.

Have fun. Get your team and their families together and blow off some steam. Go to the beach, have a barbecue, go the river, or whatever you do to relax together. A small investment in your team’s relationships over the summer pays out big when the stress hits in the fall and winter.

Outside seminars, conferences, and training. Summers are filled with different learning opportunities. Send part or all of your team somewhere they can learn from someone else. It shows them they’re valued and exposes them to new ideas.

In house training. The summer is a great time to reflect on and reinforce policies, expectations, and processes. Revisiting the things, you do and the way you do them makes your organization more efficient and effective.

Planning Sessions. Carve out time to think and dream with your team. Thinking is underrated and undervalued in our fast-paced and production driven society. Give your team time to think through a new project, initiative or program.

Keep Communicating. Use your ChMS to keep people updated and informed when they’re out of office. Set up a group to keep people on the same page and help move dialogue forward.

Staff Retreats. Depending on your budget, a staff retreat can encompass all or some of these things. Take a few days and get alone with your team. If you can afford it, bring their families. Keep things fun and low stress. Focus on spiritual and relational health. Spend time reflecting on the past year and envisioning the next. This small investment will improve the health and longevity of your team.

Whatever you do to invest in your church staff, make sure your team is ready spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally for the grueling ministry demands of fall, winter, and spring.

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